The Manhattan Optical Company began operations in 1892 with a capital stock of $100,00 dollars, engaged in the manufacturing of cameras, lenses, optical instruments, etc. The firm located manufacturing in the vicinity of Cresskill, New Jersey.
F. & E.M. Schaffer were largely interested in a plant and in 1894 erected a factory building fifty two by one hundred feet, in Cresskill, New Jersey. The firm employed a large force of help and shipped their products over the entire country. Their plant stands on ground formerly occupied by JR and BV Demarest''s Woolen Mills.
In 1897 it was recorded that the Manhattan Optical company was sold to General Amos Schaffer for $15,000 due to the firms insolvency with liabilities reaching $250,000. General Schaffer and Mrs. Weber were among the heaviest creditors. The company lacked cash and the assets were only valued $20,000. Attachments for payments followed the firm to New York.
In January 1897 the company was incorporated in New York with a capital of 2,500, and an office at 1209 Broadway New York. The directors were Emil Shaefer and Chas. H. Lellman, Jr. New York and Jules Fehr, Nyack.
In August 1902 the Gundlach Optical Company of Rochester New York, acquired the Manhattan Optical Company Of Cresskill, New Jersey, and changed the name of the company to the "Gundlach-Manhattan Optical Company. They moved the firms office to Rochester at 761 South Clinton Avenue.
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